Since the birth of a bustling Araneta Center in the 1950s, Quezon City denizens and its visitors have seen establishments come and go in this area—best known as Cubao—which continues to attract around a million people a day.
Who could forget the iconic C.O.D, Fiesta Carnival, Aguinaldo’s Department Store, and old Rustans Center? Thankfully, the iconic Ali Mall, SM Department Store, Farmer’s Market and the recently renamed Smart-Araneta are still bustling as ever, albeit with renovations made over the years.
Moreover, Araneta Center has also become a hive for urban busy-bees what with the rise of offices spaces and residential condominiums. And not to be outdone in this rise is the hotel service industry, well represented by the new Novotel Manila.
The Manila Times visited the well-appointed hotel, which has been on soft opening since October 2015, and learned that it is managed by the famed Accor Hotels—the global hotel operator also behind the Sofitel, Pullman, McGallery, Grand Mercure, and The Sebel brands.
Situated right beside shopping haven Gateway Mall and the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, as well as a stone’s throw away from the newly opened Kia Theater, Novotel is indeed a convenient staycation spot, especially for concertgoers who would like the quickest access to The Big Dome on big name nights.
Kristine Facto, marketing communications manager of Novotel, proudly told The Manila Times that once the hotel is fully operational this January, it will hold Quezon City’s largest inventory of rooms with a total of 401 spread across 25 floors. It will also house six meeting rooms, one grand ballroom, a gym, a pool bar and lounge, and very soon a presidential suite, a premiere lounge, and a garden venue complete with gazebo, trellis and large tent.
While the hotel is yet to have its grand opening, The Manila Times witnessed guests checking in and out of Novotel, even on a weekday.
“The way we see it, we have a good mix of guests—business clients come in bulk on weekdays while families visit on weekends,” Facto related.
She further toured The Manila Times around the establishment’s meeting rooms quirkily named after French artists; the range of compact and practically-designed deluxe rooms; the pocket gardens; and the very inviting pool area.
As a grand finale, Facto treated The Manila Times to what is fast becoming a popular destination for foodies, Food Exchange Manila. A contemporary restaurant that can seat at least 200 customers at once, this delicious hub is set against a well-lit and artwork-laden backdrop. A favorite for its buffet service, Food Exchange Manila boasts of five interactive stations—Italian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Desserts—and when not catering to famished diners, serves as all-day resto for guests with ala-carte meals.
Adjacent to Food Exchange Manila is Gourmet Bar by Novotel, another food concept that serves quick bites such as burgers, pintox, and tapas as well as premium drinks, which can be customized to their customer’s desire a la speakeasy. What makes Gourmet Bar stand out by the way is its use of greens and produce fresh from the Aranetas’ farm in San Mateo, Rizal.
Overall, Novotel gives guests that polished and contemporary vibe while keeping Araneta Center’s signature touches of warmth and familiarity. To be sure, with all its features coming full swing, Cubao’s newest hotel is poised to become another crowd-drawer to one of Metro Manila’s most famous spots.